‘Something dodgy’: Shadow treasurer’s wake-up call
Queensland-based federal shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers is urging anyone who spots "something dodgy" on their skin to get it checked after having a melanoma cut out of his chest.
Dr Chalmers, the Member for Rankin in southern Brisbane and Logan, has undergone a whirlwind fortnight after a recent visit to a doctor when he mentioned that he had noticed a mole a "bit blacker" than others on his chest.
"I just mentioned in passing, 'what do you think of this guy here' and the doctor said straight away, 'oh we're going to have to cut that out'," he said.
The doctor removed the mole from the Opposition Treasury spokesman's chest three days later and sent it for testing, leaving Dr Chalmers and his family with an agonising wait for the results.
Two days later it was confirmed as skin cancer.
"I spotted it some months ago and thought it looks a bit blacker than the others, and so I got on to it in time but I was more complacent than I should have been," he said.
"My advice to everyone is, if you spot something dodgy on your skin, get it sorted straight away.
"Get a regular check, but do your own checks too, and if something looks unusual there's no downside to going and getting it checked out."
Dr Chalmers saw a specialist yesterday in Brisbane and is scheduled to undergo further surgery tomorrow, but expects to be "stitched up and ready to go" soon after.
Initially hesitant to discuss the health scare publicly, Dr Chalmers was encouraged to speak out by Labor colleagues Graham Perrett and Jason Clare, who had both been through a similar experience.
"So many people go through skin cancer, 16,000 a year, and so a lot of people are in the same boat," he said.
"It's relatively common, more common than we would like, but people just need to be aware of what they're looking for, how frequently to get tested and to make sure they're not complacent about it.
"You're not immune if you've got olive skin like I do.
"You might think you're in better shape than someone with fair skin and red hair but the truth is anyone can get (a melanoma)."
Originally published as 'Something dodgy': Shadow treasurer's wake-up call